10 Lessons for Entrepreneurs
1. "Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
There’s always going to be something “extra” that can enhance your business or potentially boost you.
Maybe it’s a new technology platform or a social media strategy. Whatever it is, strive for those things, but don’t let them become an excuse for not doing our best with what we already have.
2. "If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes."
I think one of the biggest reasons why seasoned entrepreneurs stop innovating and taking risks is because they’re afraid of ruining a “winning streak.”
Nothing is for certain in the world of innovation. You’ve got to remember that out of every failed innovation comes unexpected knowledge that sends us in a new direction or reveals something we would have never known.
3. “It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”
Once you realize the truth behind, “Little things make big things happen,” you’ll never again view the details of your business as boring or insignificant - especially when it comes to marketing.
Consumers don’t become loyal brand buyers by accident. It takes strategic planning and execution to cut through the estimated 3,000 marketing messages the average American sees each day.
Every picture, every image and every email within your marketing has a job to do.
4. “Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.”
In a 2011 study by Intuit, it was estimated that 49% of U.S. small businesses fail in their first five years of operation.
But just because they fail doesn’t mean they can’t start over. That’s the beauty of this country - anyone can start over.
But there’s no cure for failing to adapt to change.
I would argue that what’s even more important than persistence in business is the entrepreneur’s ability to develop a mentality that embraces and welcomes change.
Without that kind of mentality and practice, failure becomes a 100% absolute.
5. “You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one.”
It’s amazing how many people will go out of their way to put you down, or downplay your success as you gain momentum in business.
Yes, even friends and family.
For some reason, people just love to drink the Hatorade.
Anyone that chooses to publicly criticize you on a social media platform or forum is not an opinion you should concern yourself with.
Instead, focus your attention on complaints and critiques that come directly through customer service channels, and do everything in your power to not only resolve them, but also learn from them.
As for flattery, it’s always best to graciously accept it. Just make sure you don’t become dependent on it.
6. “The worst thing about new books is that they keep us from reading the old ones.”
I don’t think that any of us are struggling due to a lack of ideas. On the contrary, I think our biggest problem is that we don’t implement what we already know.
So before you download that next Kindle book, why don’t you first identify and implement one or two points from the book you just read?
7. “Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who'll argue with you.”
This goes back to the point about getting caught up in criticism and flattery.
Sure, it’s great to have everyone in agreement with your ideas and plans, but it’s better to have them challenged before money and time are invested and wasted.
This is where a few trusted advisors can come in handy, along with a thick skin on your part.
Remember, it takes confidence to listen to someone’s honest opinion, but it’s well worth it.
8. “If I am through learning, I am through."
As entrepreneurs, our education is never finished.
If you don’t enjoy being a constant student, then I recommend you stay out of the world of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Some of the most successful online business owners I know have invested over six figures on their education via mentors, seminars, books and mastermind groups before they finally got it.
9. “Pray to win with action and discipline.”
Don’t leave things to chance or fate, adhere to a strong work ethic. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the idea that things should come easy so long as you believe in your product or service.
It takes a tremendous amount of sacrifice, discipline and effort to successfully establish yourself in the marketplace - especially a digital marketplace.
10. “Defense is a definite part of the game, and a great part of defense is learning to play it without fouling.”
If making money is like scoring in the world of business, then setting up a good risk management program and identifying common pitfalls is a strong defense.
Always make sure that you understand the boundaries and responsibilities within any contract you’re signing. It doesn’t matter how much passion or drive you have when a contract is breached.
Yes, it’s important to be passionate about your business, but that also means learning the rules and playing by them.
Successful entrepreneurs understand that there are times for passion and times for caution.
“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you are capable.”
At first glance, this may sound like an excuse for losing.
But the real gem to grasp here is that each of us is far more capable than we think. Only when we encounter our truest selves will we finally be able to acquire the success we’ve been chasing.